What is stress?
Stress is the way our body reacts to tension, anxiety and the taxing activities we must face in everyday life. When the pressures put on our bodies become excessive, we sometimes suffer from sickness and other symptoms.
+ The word “stress” refers to the body's condition, which becomes strained when trying to adapt itself to challenging daily activities.
When a person deals with pressure, physical or psychological, the body gets overstimulated and tries to prevent itself from becoming worn out. Over time, our bodies learn how to optimize a response to increased activity. This adaptation is known as “good stress”, the benefits of which accompany us all of our lives. It is necessary for physiological development and for adapting to our environments. When pressures on the mind or body are excessive, intense or prolonged, and are more than the body can handle, it becomes “distressed” and attempts to manage this “bad stress”. When your body gets to this point, any overstimulation can provoke malfunctions or illnesses.
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY?
When dealing with stress, the brain stimulates the secretion of adrenaline. This chemical goes to the kidneys and triggers a process in which stored glycogen is converted into glucose, increasing the flow of blood. Your blood pressure goes up, your breathing accelerates (to increase the intake of oxygen) and your digestion is affected. When your body repeats this chemical process regularly over time, it becomes chronic.
At that point, any type of stimulant –even slight excitement– can cause disproportionate effects, which wear out the body. Stress is not an illness. It is a defense mechanism your body uses, but if this defense mechanism becomes chronic you become more vulnerable to illness.